TOKYO, June 9 (BNA): Shares in the Asia-Pacific region rose to their highest level since mid-February on Friday, inspired by a rally on Wall Street overnight as market bets on the Federal Reserve to skip a rate hike next week steadied.
Japanese and Australian bond yields followed lower US Treasury yields, and the dollar remained on the defensive early in the Asian session, Reuters reports.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks. MIAP00000PUS added 0.6%, and at one point touched its strongest level since Feb. 16.
Most of that was driven by a 1.66% rise in Japan’s Nikkei .N225, which rebounded strongly after falling from a 33-year high in the previous session.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng .HSI rose 0.21%, while mainland China’s blue-chip index gained 0.1%.
On Wall Street, the gains were led by the Nasdaq .NDX, which rose 1.27%. The broader S&P 500 rose 0.62%. US E-mini NQc1 and EScv1 stock futures in Asia indicated a restart of around 0.1% lower for both indices.
Bets on the pause were supported by data released overnight showing that the number of Americans filing new job applications rose to its highest level in a year and a half.
2-year Treasury yields US2YT = RR, which are highly sensitive to monetary policy expectations, were little changed at around 4.53% in Tokyo after falling 3 basis points at the New York close. The 10-year yield US10YT = RR rose to 3.73% after falling 7 basis points overnight.
The US dollar index = US dollar, which measures the currency against a basket of six major peers, was little changed at 103.34, close to a more than two-week low of 103.29 reached on Thursday.
The dollar rose 0.15% to 139.135 yen = EBS, after earlier falling to a one-week low of 138.765.
EUR=EBS was flat at $1.0784, just below Thursday’s two-week high of $1.0787.